THOMAS CURLEY became president and chief executive officer of The Associated Press on June 1, 2003. He is the 12th person to lead the AP since its founding in 1846. Under Curley's leadership, the AP is evolving from a wire service to an interactive global news network geared to meet the content needs and marketplace demands of members and customers worldwide. Mr. Curley has restructured senior AP management, created an international division to drive content and new business overseas, charted the development of technology to create a multimedia database for all AP content, and encouraged initiatives to celebrate exceptional and distinctive AP journalism. Mr. Curley is leading an initiative to launch a digital rights agency to help content creators protect and get compensated for their digital content. He also is one of the nation's foremost advocates for the First Amendment and has received numerous national awards for his First Amendment activities. Mr. Curley was previously president and publisher of USA Today, the nation's largest-selling daily newspaper. USA Today circulation under Mr. Curley grew to more than 2.3 million copies a day. Mr. Curley was the original news staffer on the project that led to the creation of USA Today. He was assigned in 1979 by then-Gannett Chairman Al Neuharth to study the feasibility of a national newspaper. He later worked in every department of the newspaper. In 1986, he became the newspaper's sixth president and in 1991 added the title of publisher.
Mr. Curley holds a political science degree from Philadelphia's La Salle University and a Master's degree in business administration from Rochester Institute of Technology.